Mind mapping and Omnifocus

Hi to all,
have anyone experience with integration of omnifocus and any mind mapping software? I usually prefer a visual approach to brainstorming but i don’t find any easy solution to import\export data to omnifocus.


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I’m only aware of one mind mapping app that will export to OmniFocus: MindNode. Others may do, but I’ve never used them.

Thanks, i will give it a try

It’s also possible to get data from Ithoughts and Novamind into Omnifocus. It’s a bit more complicated than with Mindnode, but to me it’s worth it, as I want the notes in my mindmaps preserved, and as I prefer the two other mindmap apps. My description here:

Ithoughts and Novamind to Omnifocus

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I’m not at my computer right now. But I do remember something I experimented with while using ithoughts. I would create a mind map in ithoughts. The I would select the entire mind map or just a branch. Then I would hit command-c to copy. Then I pasted the clipboard into omnioutliner and saved that as OPML. Then I would go to OmniFocus to import the OPML file.

I do. Surly recall just selecting all text in omnioutliner and copied to clipboard. Then pasted the clipboard into OmniFocus. That might work. But I’m not at my office to verify this.

Mindnode is the most seamless method to go from mind map to OmniFocus.

Sadly, there will be no Ipad version of the mindmapping application Novamind. The planned version looked great, but apparently Gideon King, the founder of Novamind, aimed to high. For health reasons, he has now sold the company. With typical sincerity, he describes the process in a farewell message:
Message from Novamind founder

The new owner will only continue to develop the desktop versions for Windows and Mac:
Novamind future

For those accepting a subscription model and only looking for a Mac version to combine with Omnifocus, Novamind is still a great application, provided that they have Omnioutliner and accept going an extra step through that application to get information from Novamind to Omnifocus.

Otherwise, IthoughtsX is still an alternative to Mindnode. I tried it again, liked it a lot, and, even though IthoughtsX cannot export directly to Omnifocus like Mindnode, actually prefer to get information to Omnifocus the ways I can do it with IthoughtsX. Here are some observations:

  1. IthoughtsX exports all nodes, you don’t have to add tasks to the nodes as in Mindnode to get them exported. IthoughtsX can also export selected nodes only, not just the whole mindmap as Mindnode. It should be said, though, that you easily could add a task to the main node, and that way have the complete mindmap exported. The same way you could add a task to any other node and have that branch only exported, just as if it was selected, provided that there aren’t any tasks added to other nodes to the mindmap.

  2. Mindnode does export notes now, this has apparently been fixed since I noted the limitation in an earlier post in this forum.

  3. As an Omnifocus user, I was of course delighted to find a Focus feature in IthoughtsX. It elegantly dims everything except the selected branches. Unfortunately you can’t keep the focus on those branches, because as soon as you select any of the selected nodes, the focus shifts to the new selection. So you can’t really work with a focused area, you could only look at it. Hopefully this will change in the future.

  4. On Iphone and Ipad, it does not work to use Omnioutliner to get a mindmap to Omnifocus from Ithoughts. But, to my surprise, you could copy the mindmap, or part of it, and paste it directly into Omnifocus, with the hierarchy preserved. Notes get lost, though. In Mindnode, export to Omnifocus works exactly as in the Mac version (and as in the new Mac version keeps the notes) – well done!

All in all, I have found that IthoughtsX gives me more possibilities and better looking mindmaps than Mindnode without, in my opinion, being harder to use.


Just thought I should mention, after my last, long post, that I asked the developer of Ithoughts and IthoughtsX, and got the answer that he plans Omnifocus integration for the future. He also plans to make the Focus feature (item 3 in my post above) ’sticky’.

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Thanks Jan, it is a good news. I only hope that don’t take too long to be developed.